When Katie Holmes filed for divorce this June from Tom Cruise, people were genuinely shocked. Celebrity divorces usually draw a lot of attention from the public eye, which is no surprise. But, when the divorce was settled in two weeks, many people were convinced that divorce trends were shifting. If Tom/Kat could split amicably, maybe more people would seek similar kinds of divorce.
There is another trend that the Tom/Kat split might start. It is forum shopping in divorce. Katie lived with Tom in California with their daughter Suri. Yet, Katie decided to file for divorce in New York. The reason for this tactical choice is that New York State is historically reluctant to award joint custody to couples who don’t get along.
Generally, this is a difficult move to pull off in divorce cases. Most states require at least three months of residency in order to file for divorce. The residency requirement is a matter of jurisdiction. Jurisdiction is most notable an issue in international family law issues, especially concerning child custody, but it also has a place in divorce. In some cases two parties maintain different households and it only takes one party to file to get the divorce process going. This can allow one party to be able to decide what the benefits are of different jurisdictions.
An example of some that varies based on jurisdiction is that Illinois is an equitable division state. Equitable division means that property is divided not in half but according to factors like future financial security in an effort to make the division as fair as possible. While not everyone has the ability to pick and choose the forum of their divorce, you should seek the advice of a legal professional who knows the best options for you. If you have decided that divorce is your best option, contact an experienced divorce lawyer in DuPage County today.